Market musings

Generation Smartphone: Millennials in the Global Mobile Workforce

by Sasha Viasasha
June 14, 2018

Two out of three people on Earth now have mobile phones, according to a 2018 update  by Hootsuite and WeAreSocial. There are 5.1 billion unique mobile users, which adds up to 68% of the global population. Smartphones dominate as the preferred device for accessing the web. More than half of web traffic originates on a smartphone, with laptops and desktops combined only reaching 43%.

Here are a few more critical findings on the growing significance of mobile devices in contemporary culture.


Globally, mobile has become primary growth driver for telecom services, with business and consumer demand led by the Asia Pacific region. Telecom revenues in Asia Pacific countries were twice that of the global average, despite a steep drop in revenue for legacy phone systems.

Factors like these explain why 85% of property owners across the Asia Pacific region say they expect enhanced mobility to define the future of work. 

In Australia and New Zealand, the workforce has already gone mobile. Australia ranks first and New Zealand third in global mobile connectivity according to the latest GSMA index. This report ranks countries on four criteria: the strength of their mobile infrastructure, the cost of access, consumer demand and the availability of relevant mobile content.

Millennials can't live without their smartphones

No matter how many devices they have, it’s not enough. More than a quarter of internet users plan on buying a new smartphone or upgrading in the next 6 months.

According to Gallup polls, almost half (46%) of smartphone users “can’t imagine living without” their phones. Among younger millennials in the 18-29 age range, 51 percent can’t picture a life with no smartphones, even though the technology is just one decade old.

As you might suspect, Apple lovers of all ages were more attached to their phones, with 52 percent of iPhone users unable to imagine living without one, compared to just 43 percent of Android users. Overall and across device platforms, 70 percent say that smartphones have made their lives better.

Google Australia found that millennials rely on their smartphones before their desktops or laptops. Millennials choose the smartphone option 1.6X more often than Gen-Xers and 2.5X more often than baby boomers.

Smartphones at work

Business owners evidently agree, because 87 percent of employers expect employees to use their personal smartphones to access business apps for work, in a report by the Information Solutions Group (ISG). About two thirds of these employers said that their employees use their smartphones for work outside the office at least four hours per week. 

Michael Russell, CEO of Auckland's Origin, explained how this impacts New Zealand  business owners:

"Having grown up in such a connected world, the millennial generation are used to staying in touch online at all times, which means many Kiwi companies may find themselves needing to address the ways they use technology in their business.” 

The ISG report found that 43% of employers chose “productivity” as the No. 1 benefit of allowing employees to use their smartphones at work.

Smartphones have made many devices obsolete, both in the business world and society at large. That includes pay phones, cameras, calculators, fax/copy/scanners, music players, ebook readers, GPS displays, flashlights, credit card scanners, voice recorders, televisions, and remote controls.

Now we expand that list to include add desktops, laptops and legacy PBX systems.

Is your business phone line built for millennials?

Legacy office phone systems weren't made for the global mobile world we live in today. Newer telecom systems like business VoIP services and SIP phones are still too complex and costly for the average small business. Meanwhile, the mobile app market has reset expectations on how easy it should be to setup and use professional business software. 

Agile businesses no longer require stationary remnants of the old world like desk phones and office cubicles. Today's leading companies are going digital and taking business on the road. Spoke is a next-generation virtual phone system for a global mobile workforce. Spoke was built to run on top of new technologies like VoLTE, HDVoice and 5G networks.

The Spoke Phone digital solution transforms the smartphones that  employees already know and love into a telecom network, with easy transfers, call data, auto-geo-routing, a multilingual AI auto-attendant and local DDI numbers in 56 countries.

We researched how employees at small companies actually use their phones and we discovered that too many unused options cause feature fatigue.

Less is more. The intuitive Spoke interface contains all the business phone line essentials that small businesses want and none of the bells and whistles that distract employees from doing their work.

Spoke is easy to install and easy to use, yet powerful enough to replace your office phone system, eliminating up to 88% of your telecom costs.

Contact Spoke for an interactive demo of a next generation virtual PBX solutions, deployed on the smartphones that your employees already love.

The Pocket Communication Guide for Your Millennial Employees